Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1
When Typhoon Haiyan hit, Tacloban City (Philippines) was ravaged by destruction. The wind toppled massive buildings and houses. Water levels rose as high as electric posts. Families were torn apart as waves swept children away from their parents. The terror of this Signal #5 typhoon was swift and deadly.
There was a certain place of refuge that the local government opened to the public, thinking it was high enough and safe from the storm. Unfortunately, the strength of the typhoon ravaged the shelter. The ceiling was ripped apart, the waves came in, and thousands drowned.
Typhoons make me think of Psalm 91. We will certainly be hit by storms in our lives– problems, tests, trials—but should we be destroyed or ravaged by them? Or is it possible to be secure and safe while the onslaught of terror is ongoing? Is there a promise we can hold on to?
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:9-11
We can appropriate Psalm 91 in our lives. We cannot always escape trouble, but we can always run to our Rock of refuge, our Fortress, our Strength, and our Deliverer when the storms come. Our God is the Most High—higher above any trial or test we undergo. He is also the Almighty—mightier than the fiercest winds and waves.
Because God’s shadow casts a reassuring calm on everyone who dwells in His Presence, we can be peaceful. We can rest. We can trust. We can even say like Paul: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Who is our shelter when the storms of life come? The true Christian is a resilient Christian. Because Jesus lives in us, so do hope, joy, strength, peace, protection, and faith. Our feet must know where to run in times of trouble.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.